Adults and children who receive comprehensive, integrated care experience improved health care quality, an improved client care experience, and improved clinical and non-clinical outcomes. Community-based organizations can play a critical role in supporting care that addresses the whole person, which realizes improved health outcomes and lowers health care costs.

Recognizing these benefits, the president’s FY23 budget would double funding for primary and behavioral health integration programs. In addition, using existing authority, the Department of Health and Human Services will test payment models that support the delivery of whole-person care through behavioral health integration and authorize Medicaid reimbursement of inter-professional consultations so that primary care providers can consult with a specialist and provide needed care for patients.

Why COA Accreditation

COA Accreditation, a service of Social Current, offers an independent, objective, and reliable verification of organizations and programs. It provides a framework to manage resources, offer best practices, and strive for continuous improvement. This supports an organization’s sustainability, encourages its growth, and helps it to achieve measurable results. It involves a detailed review and analysis of an organization’s or a program’s administrative functions and service delivery practices.

We view accreditation as a partnership and our approach to accreditation is facilitative and strengths based. Our primary goal is to assist organizations and programs to implement best practice standards, which results in improved service delivery and better outcomes for their clients. Each customized process reflects the capacity of each organization or program and establishes realistic timetables, identifies areas for technical assistance, and facilitates appropriate staffing of the onsite review team.

In partnership with the human service field, we use professional volunteers in each of the most significant activities of the accreditation process. From our standards review panelists to onsite reviewers to final decision makers, this collaboration ensures that COA Accreditation remains relevant and field driven.

Mental Health and/or Substance Use Services Standards

COA Accreditation is an organizational accreditor and conducts over 150 reviews each year of organizations running mental health and/or substance use programs. In fact, it is our most frequently used set of standards and was last updated in 2021.

Integrated Care; Health Home Standards

  • COA has been accrediting integrated care since 2012
  • The integrated care standards were last updated in 2020
  • More than 100 reviews have been completed or are in process

Additionally, our standards:

  • Incorporate language and practice requirements from the health home provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act including key health home services that are eligible for federal reimbursement such as:
    • Comprehensive care management
    • Care coordination and health promotion designed to assist people in managing their chronic conditions and improving their overall health
    • Comprehensive transitional care, including appropriate follow-up from inpatient to other settings
    • Individual and family support
    • Referral to community and social support services, as applicable
    • The use of health information technology (HIT) to link services
  • Incorporate the most up-to-date literature on integrated care including research on providing integrated care for children and youth
  • Emphasize person-centered care and family involvement

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